Gavin Campbell received a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and came to Kyoto in 2001 to take his current position as tenured university professor of history, religious studies, and American Studies. Since 2016 he is also Fellow at Harvard's Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. His teaching and research revolve around Japan's cultural encounters with the West, particularly during the Edo, Meiji, Taisho and early Showa periods (1600-1940), and he has published on the history of foreign tourism and of Protestant missionaries in Japan. To further explore Japan's global cultural encounters, he is currently writing a book on the history of Japanese menswear from the 1600s through the early 20th century. He enjoys reading, spending time with his family, and exploring with clients Kyoto's endlessly fascinating culture and history.
Alexander Bazes, originally from New York, has lived in Kyoto for 6 years. After finishing his BA in East Asian studies at Brown University he went on to take a master’s degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania, where he focused on pre-modern Japanese Buddhism. In early 2012, he began training in the craft of Japanese knife making, which he is pursuing full-time. Passionate about Japanese craftsmanship and culture, he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences with others.
Marc enjoys sharing the understanding and the knowledge he gained over the years regarding traditional Japanese culture, Kyoto’s historical patrimony and Japanese society. After earning a Ph.D. in Biology and an M.A. in Psychology in France, he originally came here to carry out postdoctoral research. Passionate about the history and culture of Japan since childhood, he decided to stay in order to learn and study it first-hand. He studied several crafts including pottery, as well as several traditional arts. After many years of study, Marc was granted a 2nd degree tea ceremony instructor certificate and obtained a 3rd Dan in iaido. He also became a connoisseur of Japanese antiquities which he has been collecting and restoring. Before settling in Kyoto, he lived all around the country, in the countryside as well as in large cities for more than 12 years; a rich experience providing him with a wide knowledge of Japan. Marc now lives in the heart of Kyoto with his family in a 100-year- old house he is currently restoring. He presently teaches foreign languages at university and instructs local Japanese guides.